I’m always looking for lunches that are healthy, filling and really easy to make. Work has been so hectic, I haven’t been able to get to the grocery store in over a week. A new record for me, I believe. So, when I realized I had nothing to pack for lunch this morning, it was time to get creative with leftovers and pantry supplies.
I had a couple of leftover Chicken Garlic sausages, cans of fire-roasted green chile tomatoes, frozen brown rice and a bag of red lentils. A couple of cubes of vegetable buillion, some sherry vinegar and fresh tarragon leaves all went into the pot for a surprisingly flavorful soup. The sherry vinegar and green chiles gave it a really nice kick, and the sausage, lentils and brown rice add a good variety of textures.
Even if you think you don’t have anything to eat, you can usually forage for a good meal in your pantry. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and to use up some of those forgotten items from the back of the shelf.
Simple Sausage & Red Lentil Soup
You can easily make this vegetarian by substituting the sausage for vegetarian sausage or a bit more brown rice. I also suspect some lemon juice would be a great addition, but I didn’t have any on hand.
2 cooked sausages, chopped (I used the Roasted Garlic variety from al fresco)
16 oz. red lentils
2 cubes vegetable buillion
6 cups water
1 15 oz. can diced fire-roasted tomatoes with green chiles (Muir Glen of course)
1 cup cooked brown rice
2 tbsp. Sherry vinegar
big pinch chili flakes
1.5 tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves
Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium. Add the lentils, water, buillion, sausage and tomatoes. Once the liquid starts to bubble a bit, reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes. Add the brown rice, vinegar and chili flakes and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat, then stir in the tarragon leaves. Taste and salt if needed.